Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo
López has sought refuge in the Spanish embassy in the Venezuelan capital of
Caracas after a court issued a warrant for his arrest.
According to the Spanish government,
Lopez, his wife and daughter are staying in the in the residence of the Spanish
ambassador to Venezuela, Jesús Silva Fernández.
In a statement, Spain has refused to
turn over Mr. Lopez to Venezuelan authorities:
“Spain trusts that the
Venezuelan authorities will respect the inviolability of the Spanish
Lopez has been on house arrest since
2017, however, on Tuesday he escaped to join National Assembly leader, Juan
Guaido, as they called for a military uprising to bring down Nicolas Maduro.
López explained that military members
who were guarding him had turned their backs on Maduro and decided to support
“I had meetings in my house when
I was under house arrest. I met there with commanders, I met there with
generals. I met there with representatives of specific parts of the armed
forces and specific parts of the police forces.
“It’s a crack that will become a
bigger crack… that will end up breaking the dam”.
He added that he believes Maduro’s
government will fall “in weeks.”
Venezuela’s ambassador in Madrid,
Mario Isea, accused Lopez of “using the ambassador’s residence as an
operational base to abet a military uprising”.
Spain’s acting foreign minister Josep
Borrell later warned Mr. Lopez not to use the embassy into “a centre of
Meanwhile, Guaido encouraged
supporters to march to military bases and barracks:
“Peacefully, civically … we
are going to deliver a simple document, a proclamation to the Armed Forces to
listen to the Venezuelan call, that a rapid transition is possible to produce
To further drive his message of
support, Guiado posted the following statement on the social media platform,
“The call is to add
and not to confront, to ask the military to be on the side of the